investment bank Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group to offer initial public offerings to retail investors.

It is the second such deal announced by Fidelity in the last six weeks. Fidelity, which runs the nation's second-largest discount brokerage, announced a deal in late June with Lehman Brothers Inc. to give its customers access to stock and bond offerings, as well as research, and possibly structured products usually aimed at institutional investors.

The latest deal will give Fidelity customers access to IPOs from a broader range of companies.

Friedman Billings, one of the nation's biggest IPO underwriters, specializes in working with technology, real estate, financial services, and health-care companies.

The two companies said they may enter additional business relationships in asset management, research, and electronic trading of securities. IPOs from Friedman Billings, of Arlington, Va., had previously been available only to Fidelity's institutional customers.

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